Algeria names panel to amend constitution as protests persist

Newly elected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune addresses a news conference in Algiers, Algeria, December 13, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 08 January 2020

Algeria names panel to amend constitution as protests persist

  • Tebboune’s office said 17 people on the new constitutional committee would have 3 months to submit proposals for discussion

ALGIERS: President Abdelmadjid Tebboune formed a panel on Wednesday to amend Algeria’s constitution to give parliament and the judiciary a greater role, a step aimed at helping end a months-long political crisis.
Tebboune was elected last month to replace veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was forced to step down in April amid massive protests that have persisted since then, demanding a total change of the power structure.
The protesters opposed the election, arguing that any vote held while the old elite still held power was illegitimate, and tens of thousands still demonstrating each week have rejected his offer of dialogue.
Tebboune’s office said in a statement that the 17 people on the new constitutional committee would have three months to submit proposals for discussion which could then be sent to parliament and finally put to voters in a referendum.
The panel is led by Ahmed Laraba, a member of the United Nations International Law Commission. It has a mandate to look at all aspects of state organization and reconsider the role of parliament and the judiciary to promote the rights of citizens.
Tebboune has also promised measures to diversify the oil-reliant economy by encouraging investment in non-energy sectors with the aim of reducing imports of food and other goods now costing over $40 billion annually.


Jordan to use drones, cameras to monitor curfew

Updated 06 April 2020

Jordan to use drones, cameras to monitor curfew

  • Jordan has declared five dead and 323 cases of the COVID-19
  • Authorities would take “the necessary measures against anyone violating” coronavirus regulations

AMMAN: Jordan said it is to use drones and surveillance cameras to monitor compliance with a nationwide curfew imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The armed forces and security services will ensure the curfew is being respected by using modern technology such as drones and surveillance cameras,” the minister of state for information, Amjad Al-Adayleh, told a press briefing late Saturday.
Jordan has declared five dead and 323 cases of the COVID-19 illness.
Adayleh, who also serves as government spokesman, warned that authorities would take “the necessary measures against anyone violating decisions” taken to contain the outbreak.
Jordan says it has arrested at least 1,600 people for violating the curfew, which imposes heavy penalties and has been in force since last month.
It has sealed off the capital and all the country’s provinces, suspended flights in and out of Jordan, closed schools and banned all public gatherings.